Astana hosts roundtable on Kazakh non-proliferation strategy, denuclearisation of Korean Peninsula

ASTANA – International and nuclear security experts, Kazakh foreign affairs officials and foreign diplomats in Kazakhstan met in Astana Oct. 24 to discuss Kazakhstan’s nuclear non-proliferation policy and the situation on the Korean Peninsula.

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The event was organised by the Kazakhstan Institute for Strategic Studies under the President of Kazakhstan (KAZISS) and the South Korean Embassy. Participants assessed Kazakhstan’s role in global non-proliferation efforts and in helping resolve the situation on the Korean Peninsula.

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“Kazakhstan has made a historic contribution to the global process of nuclear disarmament. Peaceful foreign policy and effective anti-nuclear initiatives of President Nursultan Nazarbayev, aimed at drawing the attention of the international community to countering the nuclear threat, are helping to consolidate the world against nuclear proliferation and develop joint measures for the complete elimination of nuclear weapons,” said KAZISS Director Zarema Shaukenova.

Director of the Diplomacy Institute of the Public Administration Academy under the President of Kazakhstan Dr. Marian Abisheva moderated a session on the Korean peninsula and Korea’s policy towards peace. Joo-Hyeon Baik, who led the Korean diplomatic mission in Kazakhstan in 2012-2015, described in detail South Korea’s efforts to resolve tensions on the peninsula and the stages and successes of the negotiation process.

Director of Asia and Africa Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan Aidarbek Tumatov outlined Kazakhstan’s policy position on Korean issues.

“Kazakhstan welcomes all the positive trends emerging around the solution of the Pyongyang nuclear programme and supports the policy of South Korea and the current leadership of that country towards its northern neighbour,” stated Tumatov.

He said that Kazakhstan, as a country seeking a nuclear weapons-free world, supports continued negotiations to achieve the nuclear disarmament of North Korea.

Swedish Ambassador to Kazakhstan Mats Foyer and British Ambassador to Kazakhstan Michael Gifford, both of whom have worked in North Korea, shared their assessment of the situation on the peninsula.

Remarks by KAZISS Deputy Director Sanat Kushkumbayev, Senior Research Fellow at the Eurasian Studies Institute Dauren Aben, Permanent Member of the International Group on Nuclear Non-Proliferation Studies, KAZISS Chief Research Fellow Murat Laumulin, KAZISS Senior Research Fellow Anastassiya Reshetnyak focused on Kazakhstan’s contribution to global non-proliferation of nuclear weapons and Kazakhstan’s experience that could be used by the DPRK in the process of nuclear disarmament and accession to the non-proliferation regime.

Ambassador of the Korean Republic to Kazakhstan Kim Dae-sik and Chairman of the International Information Committee of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Talgat Zhumagulov also noted Kazakhstan’s global non-proliferation efforts.

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